While flying at 30,000 feet in 1931, American aviator Elinor Smith blacked out. She was trying to break a record, when her plane dropped towards the ground. Smith woke up at the last minute and managed to land safely.
Ten days later, she soared even higher and set a new record at 32,576 feet, relying on her trusted Longines watch. After becoming the youngest licensed pilot in the world at 16, Smith set multiple solo endurance, speed and altitude records in her lifetime.
“Children must be allowed to dream and have a horizon to work toward. For me there was only one path: I knew from age six that I wanted to fly,” Smith said of her endeavours.
Elinor Smith is one of many aircraft pioneers that inspired the Longines Spirit Collection of watches, that was designed in the same manner as the timepieces of the famous pioneers as they conquered the air, land and sea – relying on their Longines time instruments.
Legendary aviators like Smith, Amelia Earhart, Paul-Emile Victor and Howard Hughes all put their trust in the winged hourglass brand on their incredible journeys.
Today, Longines presents the new Spirit watches that are a glowing tribute to these exceptional men and women. All models from the Longines Spirit collection come with state of the art technology, resulting in highly accurate movements that are all Chronometer-certified.
Linking history with innovation, the new Spirit models take traditional features from pilots’ watches and combine them with contemporary lines and codes. The oversized crown, the flange, the pronounced step around the crystal, the font of the dial, the diamond shape indexes and the large, luminous “baton” hands are all elements drawn from the days of pioneering aviation.
Longines has fitted this range with self-winding movements with silicon hairsprings to guarantee extreme accuracy and increased longevity. The calibres, with a power reserve of 64 and 60 hours, are chronometer-certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.
Available in three hand/calendar models (40mm and 42mm) and a chronograph (42mm), the Spirit comes with a matte black, grained silver or sunray blue dial, and all are stamped with five applied stars. In the Longines tradition, this has always signified an improvement of the quality and reliability of the brand’s movements.
The case is adorned with a steel bracelet, or a leather strap in dark brown, light brown or blue. The three-hand/calendar watch is also available in a “Prestige” edition with three interchangeable straps (steel, leather and NATO in brown leather).
For more information, visit www.longines.com.
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* This article was paid for by Longines.